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  • News
  • March 31, 2016

Tuition for More Students in the Burlington and Hamilton area with the New Ontario Student Grant

Ontario Making College and University More Affordable and Accessible

                                                                                                      March 31, 2016


Ontario is making college and university more accessible and affordable for low- and middle-income students in the Burlington-Hamilton region through the single-largest modernization ever of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).


As announced in the 2016 Budget, the government will create a single, targeted, non-repayable grant — the Ontario Student Grant — starting in the 2017-18 school year. The changes to OSAP will make average tuition free for more than 150,000 eligible low- and middle-income students across the province and will reduce the cost for many more by:


  • Providing the majority of eligible students whose parents earn the median annual income of $83,300 or less with enough in grants to more than cover their tuition costs

  • Eliminating provincial student loan debt for eligible students whose parents earn less than $50,000

  • Ensuring that no eligible student receives less non-repayable aid through the new grant than they currently do through the 30% Off Ontario Tuition Grant


The Ontario Student Grant will provide additional support for full-time mature and married students, and eligibility will no longer be tied to the number of years a student has been out of high school. This predictable, upfront grant will allow families in our area to plan for their education on the basis of net price — the difference between the sticker price of tuition and what a student actually needs to pay. The government will work closely with the postsecondary sector to develop planning tools that more accurately calculate the net tuition and net price of a university or college education.

Breaking down barriers to postsecondary education the Burlington and Hamilton region is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality College and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.



“Modernizing our province’s student assistance program will make an important difference for a significant number of students here in our communities. We are proud of the investment that our government is making in Ontario’s future and in its greatest asset – its people.”— Eleanor McMahon, MPP, Burlington and Ted McMeekin, MPP, Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale


“The new Ontario Student Grant is a welcome investment in furthering student success. Ensuring that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to access post-secondary education is an important goal, which this announcement enables us to further advance.”

- Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University



“The Province’s new Ontario Student Grant aligns with Mohawk’s strategic priorities and our commitment to remove financial barriers for students. The Government of Ontario is helping to close the gap and put a Mohawk education within reach of more students who have unlimited potential yet limited means.” – Mohawk College President Ron McKerlie


“By making average tuition free for tens of thousands of students and increasing eligibility for support to so many more, we are demonstrating how firmly we believe in the importance of investing in Ontario’s people. All students should be able to afford to go to college or university in Ontario. This transformative grant will be more generous and more straightforward, breaking down barriers that might be preventing residents of Hamilton and Burlington are getting a postsecondary education while continuing to help students who are currently benefiting from important grant support.”

— Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities



  • 36,262 students from the Hamilton/Burlington area were enrolled full-time in college and university programs in 2014-15. 
  • About 80 per cent of OSAP recipients, or 250,000 Ontario students, are expected to end up with lower student loan debt as a result of the changes to OSAP than they would under current OSAP rules.
  • 300,000 students are expected to receive the same amount of grant support or more as a result of the changes to OSAP than they would under current OSAP rules.
  • Ninety per cent of dependent college students whose parents earn less than $50,000 are expected to receive OSAP grants that are greater than average college tuition.
  • Seventy per cent of dependent university students whose parents earn less than $50,000 are expected to receive OSAP grants that are greater than average university tuition.
  • The $50,000 family income threshold is based on Statistics Canada’s Low-Income Measure for a four-person household, before tax.






For further information, please contact


Eleanor McMahon MPP 905 639 7924

Ted McMeekin MPP 905 690 6552




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